Decentralized cooperation: our capital will soon have its streetcar line. The French company Lohr, based in Strasbourg, will construct it.
A signing ceremony for two agreements towards this goal was held by Malian head of state Amadou Toumani Tour?. The initiative is part of the cooperation framework that has been established between France and our country. The signing took place in the Koulouba palace, in the presence of government ministers and the French ambassador to Mali, Michel Reveyrand De Menthon.
The first agreement was signed by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Ahmed Diane S?m?ga, and the representative of the Lohr Industrie corporation, Jean Fran?ois Argence, for the delivery of the equipment. This was the first step in what will be the first streetcar line in Bamako, which the French representatives explained would be compatible with the particular requirements of the District and its population. In fact, Strasbourg has not only a streetcar network but also a factory that produces streetcars.
Bamako is currently grappling with three problems: health, urban mobility and urbanization. The city is modernizing, but improvements are lagging. The other accord, within the decentralized cooperation framework, signed between the mayor of the District, Adama Sangar?, and his counterpart from Strasbourg, Senator Roland Ries, was aimed at improving the existing physical plant and bringing modern infrastructure to the District.
Mr. Ries, who is on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, thanked President Tour? for the warm welcome he had shown the delegation from Strasbourg. He announced that the agreement had already been ratified by the Strasbourg city council. He reminded the audience that Strasbourg has extensive experience in public transit that it wants to make available to our country.
President Tour? explained that Bamako’s transportation needs are constantly growing. “We will no longer be satisfied with minibuses and other mass transit vehicles. This is why I wanted to bring a streetcar line to the District. The city of Strasbourg, which generously agreed to a preliminary technical consultation, wants to give its best to ensure our satisfaction,” he enthused. Mr. Tour? expects to double energy production here by 2012 to power the tramway.
A note on cooperation: many French towns have sister-city agreements with cities here. The relationship between Angers and Bamako, for example, is long-lasting. President Tour? wants to guide the country towards a more open form of partnership. He observed with pleasure that the decentralized cooperation between our two countries is very dynamic.